Running the Peachtree Road Race

Yesterday we ran the Peachtree Road Race for the first time. As Miley Cyrus says, it was pretty cool.

We signed up as a group and didn't submit any race times. As a result we were in the W starting group, set to start at 8:55 am.

We found plenty of parking near the Arts Center station (try the lots between 10th and 14th around W. Peachtree). We waited 20 minutes to pay at the parking meter then split a bagel at Einsteins.

There were a lot of police officers and Marta employees helping people figure things out. Marta was packed and I ended up resting my tired head on some guy's supremely hairy arm. Not really. It was there though and the bumps in the track brought the two things in close proximity. He doled out advice on not going through the water (blisters on your feet) and steering clear of Moe's (crowds getting t-shirts) and had been running it since '78.

We got off at Lenox station and walked.


The lines at the port-a-potties were deep. Even if you don't have to go when you see the toilets, hop in line. You'll have to go by the time it's your turn.


We met up with the W wave and someone holding a large STOP/WALK sign led us down Peachtree towards the starting line.


It's quite a walk; the race starts down by the American flag visible on the horizon.


While people around us squeezed power gels into their mouths, Michelle tidied her hydration of choice. I laughed but really wanted one during the second half of the race.

She ran like this, for real :)

An announcer pumped us up as we neared the starting line and soon people were shuffling off.


Michelle yelled out asking where the Moe's shirts were when she ran past. That got some of the people behind her riled up and soon a few were demanding shirts. One guy fired and expletive.

Her Capri Sun didn't spill. Meanwhile, a little ways ahead, I was sloshing warm water all over my face trying to drink.

I enjoyed being cheered by the people on the sidewalk. It adds a lot to the event and helps you keep going when you're tired. Kids held out their hands to get high fives.

Towards the end of the race I realized people were recoiling when I went past. I must have looked ghastly.

An hour passes. Cups are grabbed awkwardly. Walkers are dodged, breathing is labored. Sweat doesn't cool as it should, too humid. The sun burns and the shade feels nice. You notice hills on Peachtree you don't even think about in your car.

Here's the finish area in Piedmont Park. I sat down desperate to cool off and waited for Michelle (not long). She came across looking much more composed than I did and headed straight for a banana. She ran knowing she'd be standing around in the hospital all day Tuesday. She posted a great time and was less sore than me the next day. IMG_1455

IMG_1459 Here we are walking through the park back to the car. This was great.

You can search the 2011 Peachtree Road Race results if you know anyone that was in it. The finishers breakdown statistics are fun to look at too.